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Yeshiva College Research Team Publishes Findings on Protein Structure in Leading Crystallography Journal

A research team led by physics professors Dr. Neer Asherie and Dr. Sergey Buldyrev discovered a new way to control the crystallization of proteins so that researchers can more easily determine a protein’s 3D structure. These findings were published in Acta Crystallographica D, a leading crystallography journal. The paper was co-authored by five former and current Yeshiva College students.

Neer_Asherie

Dr. Neer Asherie

The team, which includes Dr. Bruce Hrnjez at Collegiate School and Dr. Jean Jakoncic at Brookhaven National Laboratory, discovered that adding a specific class of small molecules to water solutions of proteins not only induces the proteins to crystallize, but can also control the type of crystal formed.

“Protein crystals are used to figure out the structure and function of proteins, which is important for understanding certain diseases and for drug development,” said Asherie. “However, proteins are difficult to crystallize. Our research suggests a new way to control protein crystallization and – we hope – increase the success rate of making crystals. The results are new and lay a fertile ground for future studies. ”

The article describes several years of work, to which both past and current YU students contributed by carrying out experiments, simulations and data analysis. Read the rest of this entry…

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Yeshiva University Student Leadership Hosts Israel Solidarity Rally in Times Square

In response to the tragic terror attacks that have occurred in Israel in recent weeks, Yeshiva University student leaders organized a rally in solidarity with Israel in New York City’s Times Square on November 23.

The rally, which was open to all denominations and faith groups, created a peaceful space for communal prayer, song and unity in support of Israel.

“Recognizing that terrorism in Israel affects all of us as Jews and Americans, Yeshiva University students came together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander Read the rest of this entry…

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Straus Center Presents December 17 Conversation with Columnist George Will and NYU President John Sexton

Yeshiva University’s Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought presents a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will and New York University President John Sexton on “Baseball, Tradition and God” on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at Shenk Community Shul, 560 West 185th Street, New York City. The discussion, moderated by Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center, will begin at 7 p.m.

George WIll

George Will

Will is one of the country’s most widely-read political columnists, as well as its foremost conservative voice. His popular twice-weekly column for The Washington Post syndicate reaches nearly 475 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe. Read the rest of this entry…

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First Ever National Finals Outside of Israel Scheduled for November 30

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future and the Orthodox Union will be co-sponsoring the U.S. National Bible Contest for Adults, an event that will determine which outstanding Bible scholars will represent the United States at the International Chidon HaTanach [Bible Contest] for Adults in Jerusalem in December.

Scheduled for Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the West Side Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street in Manhattan, the event will mark the first time in the contest’s history that national finals are taking place outside of Israel. In addition to the Bible competition, the event will include a musical performance and remarks by Israeli Consul-General Ido Aharoni and YU President Richard M. Joel.

“The International Bible Contest for Adults was developed to encourage the study of the Bible, strengthen ties with the Land of Israel, and deepen connections with Jewish heritage. As such, it is a natural partnership for Yeshiva University,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU’s vice president for university and community life. “We are thrilled to co-sponsor the event, and proud that so many of the participants have ties to the University.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Rabbi Yigal Sklarin ’02YC, ’07R, ’11BR Wins Prestigious Prize for Leading Jewish Educators

Yeshiva University alumnus Rabbi Yigal Sklarin ’02YC, ’07R, ’11BR was recently awarded the prestigious Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation, which recognizes five passionate and talented emerging leaders in Jewish education who have been working in the field for 10 years or less.

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin (right), recipient of the Pomegranate Prize, with Eli Evans, chairman of the Covenant Foundation

Rabbi Yigal Sklarin (right), recipient of the Pomegranate Prize, with Eli Evans, chairman of the Covenant Foundation

Sklarin earned his BA in history from Yeshiva College, where he received the Max and Sophie Manicoff Award for Excellence in Talmud. He received semicha [rabbinic ordination] from YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and was a member of the Wexner Kollel Elyon. He also completed an MA from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, where he is now pursuing a PhD in Modern Jewish History.

“It is very humbling to be in the company of educators who have accomplished so much,” said Sklarin. “I look forward to being part of the cohort at the Covenant Foundation, including the past Covenant awardees and Pomegranate Prize recipients, and learning from the talented field of educators.” Read the rest of this entry…

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Dr. Anya Alayev, Dr. Marina Holz and Undergraduate Researchers Publish Papers in Leading Scientific Journals

Two research papers written by Stern College for Women students and a post-doctoral fellow have been published in leading scientific journals. Dr. Anya Alayev, a post-doc in Dr. Marina Holz’s lab, authored the papers together with Holz and a group of undergraduates and research assistants, who participated in the research projects described in the papers.

Dr. Anya Alayev

Dr. Anya Alayev

“Phosphoproteomics Reveals Resveratrol-Dependent Inhibition of Akt/mTORC1/S6K1 Signaling,” was published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

“In this article we wanted to find a direct downstream target of resveratrol, a naturally-derived compound that has been found to have anti-aging and disease-protecting properties,” said Alayev, who also recently received the Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association of Cancer Research.

By identifying proteins that are affected by resveratrol, the study paves the way for further research into the compound and its actions. The paper was a product of two years of research in collaboration with a group from the University of Vermont, in addition to extensive laboratory experiments and computational biology analyses—including several months of writing and revisions—before the manuscript was accepted for publication. It was co-authored by Sara Malka Berger ’13S, who worked in the Holz lab as a research assistant last year and is now pursuing master’s degree in Genetic Counseling at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Alayev also wrote “The combination of rapamycin and resveratrol blocks autophagy and induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells” which was co-authored by Berger, Melissa Kramer ’15S and Naomi Schwartz ’14S, and was published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. Read the rest of this entry…

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Michael Gamson, Judith Weiss and Anita G. Zucker to be Honored at December 14 Gala

Philanthropists and community leaders will gather at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City for Yeshiva University’s 90th Annual Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on Sunday, December 14, 2014. The gala evening is a cherished University tradition that recognizes distinguished members of the YU community who have demonstrated committed leadership and dedication to the University’s unique mission.

YU President Richard M. Joel will confer honorary degrees upon Michael Gamson of Houston, Texas; Judith Weiss of Cleveland, Ohio; and Anita G. Zucker of Charleston, South Carolina.

Hanukkah Dinner

Michael Gamson, Judith Weiss, and Anita G. Zucker will receive honorary degrees at Yeshiva University’s Hanukkah Convocation.

“Yeshiva University shapes the community and is shaped by the community,” said President Joel. “In this year’s honorees, we are blessed with three people who care, who do, who serve as extraordinary role models, and who reflect the best and the ideals of Yeshiva University.” Read the rest of this entry…

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In Inaugural Lecture, Joe Lieberman Reflects on His Past Work and The Future of Jewish Politics

Former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman may have retired from politics, but his eye hasn’t strayed far from the political scene. On October 28, 2014, at Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus, Lieberman addressed hundreds of YU students, faculty and staff in a lecture titled “Judaism and Public Service.” The lecture, the first of a three-part series, inaugurated Lieberman’s role as the Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service at YU, a position made possible through a gift from University Benefactors Ira and Ingeborg Rennert.

President Richard Joel introduced Senator Lieberman

President Richard M. Joel delivered introductory remarks.

In his introductory remarks, YU President Richard M. Joel called Lieberman’s appointment, along with the recent addition of other prominent visiting professors such as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Ambassador Danny Ayalon, “the icing on the cake of a fabulous faculty.”

Lieberman sees the new chair in public policy and public service as a significant part of YU’s mandate to provide a comprehensive education, secular and religious, to its students. “I believe that this chair has a unique and important mission in the years ahead, which is to help YU educate coming generations of Orthodox Jewish women and men in public policy and inspire and prepare them for public service.” Read the rest of this entry…

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 “Cardozo Life” and “This is Yeshiva University” Apps Receive Recognition in UCDA Design Competition

Two apps designed by Yeshiva University’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA), “This is Yeshiva University” and “Cardozo Life,” have won highly competitive awards from the University & College Designers Association (UCDA), the nation’s first and only association for professionals involved in the creation of visual communications for educational institutions.

UCDA-Design

The YU apps received two out of four awards in the Mobile App category of UCDA’s Design Competition. There were more than 1,100 entries to the overall competition and 179 received awards. Digital entries were peer-reviewed and judged for appearance, flexibility, interactivity, message and suitability for their intended audiences, with creativity in solving the problems of designing for digital media as a primary focus.

Read the rest of this entry…

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November 14 Conference Will Explore Psychosocial Care for Elders, Caregivers and Serious Illness

Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social of Work will host the Joanna Mellor Annual Gerontology Conference on November 14. This is the fourth palliative care conference that Wurzweiler has organized in recent years and the first one that will address issues relating to elder care and palliative care concurrently.

“Elder care and palliative care are not separate issues; they’re complementary,” said Dr. Rozetta Wilmore-Schaeffer, associate professor and co-chair of the Gerontology Sequence at Wurzweiler, and one of the conference organizers. “It’s important to recognize that all people dealing with palliative care are not elders, but all elder care includes palliative care.”

Joanna Mellor, for whom the conference is named, died two years ago and had been at Wurzweiler for 10 years. Read the rest of this entry…

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